The frustrations of being a ghost.

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Describe the ghosts that live in this house:

Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

The ghosts that live in this house possess generic names and generic habits.

There is Peter, who loves to bite his nails even in the afterlife. All he does is glide around the house as if the  floors are so, so slick with oil. And oh, how he bites and chews on his cuticles like there is no tomorrow. Nobody quite knows what Peter was when he was part of the living population but it has been narrowed down with a certainty of 99.1% that he was definitely not a manicurist.

Then there’s glum ol’ Marge, who stares out the window and dreams of her past dearly beloved, a man named Frank she parted with when she was a girl of twenty. Frank was a postman, a queer man, a man who looked quite a lot like Steve Buscemi, except less friendly and pinker in the face. He used to walk up to the front of the house to personally pass Marge the mail. She would wait anxiously in her rocking-chair at the porch for his bicycle to stop by the house, sometimes with a pitcher of lemonade to stall him from leaving too soon. He would pass a sheepish smile and a love note everyday. Marge collected these notes and tediously cared after them. She wanted badly to preserve the lightness in spirit she felt then. Alas, their love also had an expiry date. This came when Marge had to move with the family to a different town, and it was not long that Frank found another. Apparently men who looked like a less friendly but pinker Steve Buscemi was quite the hit back then. Sadly also, it was not long that Frank too expired due to an unfortunate accident that occurred during one of his rounds (read: brain aneurysm). A century later, Marge the ghost still dreams of her lanky postman and sighs day after day. Passers-by that pass by the abandoned house swear they still her her audible sighs for lost love till today.

The last ghost that lives in the house is a cat ghost. This cat was a mangy little grey cat who was not well-taken after but was in fact incredibly self-sufficient for a feline. The name of the cat ghost is Chimp and Chimp loved to eat back in the day when Chimp was alive. Chimp the cat ghost dreams of tuna everyday, perhaps his less poetic lost love, and often scours around the tall grass blades around the house for tuna even though he knows the possibility of him finding any is slim. Every day he sniffs around diligently for the possibility of fish, never missing out even a single square inch of ground. Chimp the cat ghost remembers the time when he was alive — he would often be rewarded with tuna whenever he killed the pests in the house. Till today he is disgruntled that he ended up as a ghost but none of the pesky pests that he murdered has to suffer the many frustrations of the state of being not quite complete. To be a ghost, he feels, is incredibly self-limiting. There is nothing that Chimp wants more than to be able to grow out his cat claws again to go hunting. He dislikes staring at all of the living creatures and not be able to reap any tangible returns. It feels a lot like unrequited love to him, in a way.

Now if only the frustrations of being a ghost are not so endless!


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